Newt Gingrich lost both Mississippi and Alabama last night, and the calls for him to drop out have risen to a deafening roar. Here's what pundits are saying:
- "If Newt Gingrich can't win Alabama and Mississippi, where can he win?" asks CNN. The states are "virtual home turf" for the ex-speaker. Dig deeper, and the numbers keep looking bad; Gingrich saw sharp declines among key groups like very conservative voters and evangelicals.
- Gingrich "lost any of the remaining logic behind his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination," writes Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe. He can't even claim he was derailed by Mitt Romney's attack machine—Rick Santorum "has shown an ability to win in spite of it."
- NPR notes that it's now impossible for Gingrich to get the 1,144 delegates needed to beat Romney. "Gingrich has long been an advocate for thinking 'outside the box,' but lately he has moved outside the box where one finds the calculator, abacus, and the times table."
- "It is time for Santorum vs. Romney and let the chips fall where they may," agrees Erick Erickson of Red State. A one-on-one contest will give Romney "a run for his money he needs to become a candidate conservatives can potentially rally around."
- But don't hold your breath. Gingrich's advisers tell the Wall Street Journal that he's staying in—purely to make sure Romney doesn't get enough delegates to clinch the nomination.